Sweet Phyllis – Remembering Phyllis Davis (1940 – 2013)

Remember ‐ June 17, 2018

With a smile as big as her personality, beautiful Phyllis Davis was one of those Seventies starlets who appeared regularly on screen for nearly 30 years. Though more familiar on television than in film, she nethertheless starred in some pretty good cult movies and a couple of very popular exploitation pieces.

Born Phyllis Ann Davis, in Texas on July 17th 1940, the former airline stewardess got her cinematic break with bit parts in the bizarre but funny ‘Lord Love a Duck’ and the Elvis Presley vehicle ‘Spinout’ (both ’66). After minor roles in another Presley flick ‘Live a Little, Love a …

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Happy Anniversary – Rediscovering ‘Two for the Road’ (US 1967 – 112 mins)

Rediscover ‐ April 22, 2018

1967 was a groundbreaking year in American cinema. It ushered in a new wave of violence in movies. Superb films such as ‘Bonnie and Clyde’, ‘The Dirty Dozen’ and ‘In Cold Blood’ all resonated with both critics and the public. But one little movie that year that has since become a favourite for many, is Stanley Donen’s wonderful romantic comedy-drama ‘Two for the Road’.

Whilst travelling through the South of France, Architect Mark (Albert Finney) and his wife Joanna (Audrey Hepburn) look back at their 12 rocky years of marriage. Through frequent flashbacks of their many trips throughout Europe, we witness …

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Outbreak – Rediscovering ‘80,000 Suspects’ (UK 1963 – 113 mins)

Rediscover ‐ March 18, 2018

A minor British drama that’s part medical procedure and part disaster movie; Val Guest’s ‘80,000 Suspects’ is a decent entry in hospital dramas that benefits from a terrific cast and intelligent script.

One New Year’s Eve in the Southwest of England, Dr Stephen Monks (Richard Johnson) discovers a smallpox infection which causes the city of Bath to be put under quarantine. At the same time, Monks marriage to ex-nurse Julie (Claire Bloom) is falling apart following an affair, but becomes even more tested when Julie contracts the virus. Further strain is put on the couple when the disease is traced back …

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The Man Who Fell To Earth – Rediscovering ‘Prey’ (UK 1977 – 85 mins)

Rediscover ‐ February 24, 2018

A pretty good slice of British horror, Norman J Warren’s low-budget Sci-fi ‘Prey’ is a fun exploitation piece, and a neat twist on the oft-used theme of the welcoming couple letting a stranger into their home… with deadly results.

Upon landing on Earth, a sharp-fanged alien (Barry Stokes) kills and takes over the identity of a local man before intruding on a young lesbian couple (Sally Faulkner & Glory Annen) living deep in the English countryside. Although distant and aloof it’s not long before one of the women takes a shine to their mysterious visitor, causing friction in the couples already …

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Crime Stories – Remembering Darlanne Fluegel (1953 – 2017)

Remember ‐ January 12, 2018

For a while it seemed that cult beauty Darlanne Fluegel’s star would surely rise, and even though she went on to have an interesting film and television career, she would never quite reach the heady heights that some critics were hoping for. Still, in her many male-dominated movies, she more than managed to hold her own, battling both sadistic cops and villains in a handful of 1980’s action films.

Born in Pasadena, California, on November 25th 1953, Darlanne Fluegel carved out a successful career as a fashion model before retiring at 25 to pursue a serious acting career. Making her debut …

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Don’t Go In The Attic – Rediscovering ‘Silent Scream’ (US 1979 – 87 mins)

Rediscover ‐ January 07, 2018

Unfairly lumped in with the early slasher films, Denny Harris’ late 70’s horror ‘Silent Scream’ is actually a pretty good thriller that doesn’t dwell on gory murders, but more on the psychological aspect of the story. Slasher fans will feel cheated, but I’ve always enjoyed the look of the movie and especially the tense atmosphere that permeates throughout the film.

After moving into the beachfront boarding house run by the mysterious Mrs Engels (Yvonne De Carlo), pretty student Scotty Parker (Rebecca Balding) soon finds herself caught up in a series of brutal murders. When the police uncover some long hidden …

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Snowbound – Rediscovering ‘You’ll Like My Mother’ (US 1972 – 92 mins)

Rediscover ‐ December 04, 2017

It must feel immensely unnerving to be an isolated outsider in an isolated environment. That’s how heavily pregnant Patty Duke’s character must have felt, after arriving on the doorstep of her dead husband’s unwelcoming family, in the forgotten 1972 thriller ‘You’ll Like My Mother’.

After her husband is killed in Vietnam, heavily pregnant Francesca Kinsolving decides to pay a surprise visit to his family in a remote part of Minnesota. When her mother-in-law (Rosemary Murphy) tells Francesca she wants nothing to do with her or her unborn baby, Francesca makes for a quick exit, only to be held up by a …

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A Man Possessed – Rediscovering ‘Beast with a Gun’ / ‘La Belva Col Mitra’ – (Italy 1977 – 91 mins)

Rediscover ‐ November 25, 2017

Giving one of the meanest performances in exploitation cinema, euro favourite Helmut Berger let loose in the savage crime picture ‘Beast With a Gun’. An entertaining ‘prisoner-on-the-run’ flick, it manages to cover just about every trick in the exploitation handbook, making it a favourite for many cult movie buffs.

The plot could not be simpler: After blasting his way out of prison, sadistic killer Nanni “Mad Dog” Vitali (Helmut Berger) embarks on a spree that takes in murder, rape and robbery, while dogged police inspector Giulio Santini (Richard Harrison) will stop at nothing to recapture the fiend.

Also known as ‘Mad …

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“Take the Stairs” – Rediscovering ‘The Lift’ (Netherlands 1983 – 99 mins)

Rediscover ‐ November 07, 2017

A pleasant surprise, the multi-genre Dutch movie ‘The Lift’ starts off like some mild adult comedy but soon takes a creepy turn, from where things then get more mysterious and sometimes even horrific. But all the while it keeps you entertained and intrigued as to how this neat “Man versus Machine” movie will end.

Following the freak deaths in an office building elevator of a blind man and a nightwatchman, repairman Felix (Huub Stapel) and sexy journalist Mieke (Willeke van Ammelrooy) take it upon themselves to investigate the mysterious lift, which appears to have a deadly life of its own.

While there …

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Perfectly Pompous – Cecil Parker (1897–1971)

Rewind ‐ November 05, 2017

Notable for playing dedicated manservants and overbearing authority figures, Cecil Parker was also adept at making these characters rather likable, in spite of their stuffiness. A familiar face in British cinema for four decades, he left an indelible impression in a great number of memorable dramas as well as some of cinema’s finest comedies.

Born Cecil Schwabe, in Hastings, England on September 3rd 1897, Parker first trod the London stage in 1922 and made his movie debut a decade later in 1933. After appearing in a handful of farces, his first notable role came in Hitchcock’s excellent mystery ‘The Lady Vanishes’ …

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